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Why Did I Go Extinct?

From Woolly Mammoths to Dodos, ever wonder why animals go extinct? These cute critters aren’t with us anymore, but they will always live in our hearts (and museums). Test your knowledge about dearly departed animals and the reasons why we can’t see them anymore. Who knows, you may even see an animal you never knew existed!

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  1. 1. Falkland Island Wolves were wiped out by:

    John Gerrard Keulemans via upload.wikimedia.org
    Invasive species
    Climate change
    Hunting
    Disease
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    The Falkland Islands Wolf (Dusicyon australis) was discovered in 1690. A curious and relatively tame animal, it went extinct in 1876 due to fur traders and hunters, believed to be a threat to sheep flocks.

  2. 2. Carolina Parakeets fell off their perch due to:

    Flickr: 30001692@N04
    Deforestation
    Climate change
    Overabundance
    Exotic pet trade
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Carolina Parakeets (Conuropsis carolinensis) were found in cypress and sycamore trees in the eastern US. Because of their feathers, impact on crops, and competition with bees, the last bird died at the Cincinnati Zoo in 1918.

  3. 3. Mauritian Ducks are dead as a Dodo because of:

    pinterest.com
    Acid rain
    Disease
    Habitat degradation
    Hunting
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    The Mauritian Duck (Anas theodori), like the famous Dodo Bird, was hunted to extinction in 1696. This happened very quickly, as they were abundant on the island in 1681, only fifteen years prior.

  4. 4. Why New Zealand Quails departed this life:

    teara.govt.nz
    Hunting
    Natural causes
    Disease
    Competition
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    The New Zealand Quail (Coturnix novaezelandiae) went extinct in 1875 when introduced diseases by invasive gamebirds, although some think it was due to predation and habitat loss.

  5. 5. Passenger Pigeons flew the coop because of:

    Mershon via commons.wikimedia.org
    Deforestation
    Overexploitation
    Loneliness
    All of the above
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    The Passenger Pigeon (Ectopistes migratorius) was once one of the most abundant birds in North America that flew in flocks of millions. Deforestation, excessive hunting, and loss of their social structure fueled the extinction, with the last bird (Martha) dying in 1914.

  6. 6. Pig-Footed Bandicoots bit the bullet because:

    FunkMonk via upload.wikimedia.org
    Predation
    Acid rain
    Climate change
    All of the above
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Endemic to Australia, the Pig-Footed Bandicoot (Chaeropus ecaudatus) was no pig. It was a dainty marsupial that ate grass, roots, and insects. It went extinct due to predation by feral cats and red foxes in 1901.

  7. 7. Pinta Island Tortoises took a last bow because:

    Mike Weston via upload.wikimedia.org
    Overexploitation
    Invasive species
    Deforestation
    All of the above
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    The Pinta Island Tortoise (Chelonoidis abingdonii) was endemic to a single island in the Galapagos Islands. The species suffered heavy hunting and loss of forest habitat due to introduced goats. The last individual (Lonesome George) was alone for forty years before he passed away in 2012.

  8. 8. Thylacines are pushing up daisies because:

    i.dailymail.co.uk
    Competition
    Pollution
    Hunting
    Habitat loss
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    The Thylacine (Thylacinus cynocephalus) was a carnivorous marsupial endemic to Tasmania. It suffered heavy persecution and hunting due to a perceived threat to sheep and a need for museum and zoo specimens. The last individual, a female named Benjamin, died in 1936 from exposure.

Why Did I Go Extinct?

Better luck next time! For now, you’ll dine with the dinosaurs. Extinction occurs naturally, as Earth has experienced five mass extinctions in its prehistory. Many scientists believe we are in the midst of a sixth mass extinction, as the current rate of extinction is estimated to be anywhere from 1,000 to 10,000 times the normal rate. To put that in perspective: that’s dozens of species lost a day! Sources: IUCN Red List, Center for Biological Diversity.

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Great job! You found your way through the lesser creatures to evolutionary fitness! Extinction occurs naturally, as Earth has experienced five mass extinctions in its prehistory. Many scientists believe we are in the midst of a sixth mass extinction, as the current rate of extinction is estimated to be anywhere from 1,000 to 10,000 times the normal rate. To put that in perspective: that’s dozens of species lost a day! Sources: IUCN Red List, Center for Biological Diversity.

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